A Sunday filled with all things cat – by Briana, Client Care Coordinator and cat mom.

On Sunday, April 19th most Portlanders were probably outside enjoying the uncharacteristically warm weather, perhaps cheerfully discussing the drought over locally distilled spirits.  I, on the other hand, spent the day indoors along with several of my co-workers, and many local veterinary professionals attending the PVMA’s 2015 symposium on… *drum-roll please*… Cats!

Several well known veterinarians from the around the Country presented topics pertinent to the internet sensations and their well being both at home and in the clinic.  What I heard there helped me to better understand my own quirky kitties, and reinforced what I’ve been slowly learning over the past year.

Wesley and Molly - almost chummy!

Wesley and Molly – who here is really giving the kitty “stink eye”….

During Spring break of 2014 my boyfriend and I brought home a second rescue cat; an awesome little dude we call Wesley.  It’s a familiar story; we just wanted to look at the cats up for adoption…. but he was a charmer.  We convinced ourselves that our cat Molly (a sheltered Siamese) would eventually appreciate the company and everything would be peachy keen in like 2 months.  Our assumptions were incorrect; Molly did not share our assessment of him and integration has been a project, the first 8 months of which was chaos.  But, after a lot of trial and error, we’ve found some solutions that work well for both us and the cats.

The most valuable idea I took away from the symposium coincides well with my own recent experiences, and can be summed up into two words: Environmental enrichment.

It helps to think of your home as a zoo (perhaps not too difficult to imagine), and of your cats as the wild critters they truly are.  In captivity, our cats are restricted to an area that is a mere fraction of their natural home range – add another kitty to the picture and you’ve got some serious competition on your hands.  As both a predator and prey species whose primary enemies include primates and canids (yup, that’s you and Fido), your kitty’s position in the food chain can vary drastically from one second to the next.  Cats are wired to be acutely aware of their surroundings at all times – a change that seems minimal to us, such as a new food dish, may be initially perceived as a threat by your cat (often with video-worthy results).  On the other hand, the addition of a high perch can also make the difference between a fearful feline and a confident cat. For these reasons, it is important to pay special consideration to your kitties habitat.

With the addition of Wesley the last year has been a long balancing act of minimizing territorial disputes while optimizing space in our apartment.  Our furniture collection has expanded to include three tall cat trees (boosts kitty confidence and makes use of vertical space), a fancy water fountain, an additional litter box, and we started using puzzle feeders so they have to “hunt” at mealtime.  My cats’ interactions have improved greatly just in the last few months since our efforts to enrich their house (honestly, it really belongs to them) really took off – they play together and sometimes even show signs of affection in the general direction of each other.  Our next big project is to make interactive play time a part of our daily routine.

This might all sound like a lot of work, but it’s been quite fun and incredibly rewarding to see some of their more destructive behaviors transformed into appropriate kitty play; all we had to do was provide the right tools for them.  And you don’t need to spend a fortune either, pretty much everything your cat wants in life is a cheap DIY project; in the case of the empty grocery bag no assembly is required.

Our team embraces a kind and understanding approach to feline care, and this symposium confirmed that we were on the right track. The symposium was also great personal resource for me, and there’s boundless information on the web to help you better understand your cat as well.  For starters, check out the Indoor Pet Initiative (https://indoorpet.osu.edu/pet-owners), an ongoing project of Ohio State University’s Veterinary College.  Also, have you checked out our previous posting on Catios??

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Ultrasound, a window into your pet – by Kathy Sandifer DVM

Oswego Veterinary Hospital now offers ultrasound evaluation for our patients. Ultrasound is a pain free, noninvasive procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to produce a real-time moving image of your pet’s internal organs. The procedure allows our veterinarians to achieve a greater depth of detail that often complements information obtained from X-ray examinations. We are able to ultrasound the urinary tract, the abdomen, and also provide ultrasound-guided biopsies. Cardiac ultrasounds are performed by Dr Rausch, a board certified cardiologist who comes to our clinic on a regular basis.

Ultrasound is very useful to evaluate the bladder and kidneys. If a patient is experiencing frequent or inappropriate urination, bloody urine or signs of kidney disease, ultrasound can be used to identify stones, cystitis, cancer and a number of kidney problems. It can be used in sick or fragile patients when general anesthesia may be a risk.

Abdominal ultrasound allows full examination of your pet’s liver, gallbladder, spleen, adrenal glands, pancreas, kidneys, urinary bladder, and parts of the stomach and intestines. Ultrasound examination of these organs is crucial when a diagnosis depends upon seeing inside an organ, or when surgery or anesthesia would not be desirable. Abdominal ultrasound has become standard protocol for the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases, pancreatitis, and many types of cancer.

Using the ultrasound image as a guide, surgical biopsies can be obtained without major surgery and your pet can often go home the same day. An ultrasound is typically performed after blood tests, X-rays, and a physical examination indicates an underlying problem. Ultrasounds are typically not stressful for your pet and take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to perform. Everyone here at OVH is pleased and excited to be able to offer ultrasound examinations as part of our goal to keep your pet healthy.

Below is an ultrasound image of a bladder mass (tumor), on a sweet Scottie dog. The ultrasound technology enabled us to quickly and comfortably confirm the mass, and measure it, which will enable us to track how aggressive the mass is growing in future ultrasounds.

                                                       Click on image to enlargeBladder Mass

Boarding Tips For Pets – by Kat, Kennel Manager

boarding tips for pets

Let’s face it, most pets and their people don’t get excited about a boarding stay. However, with some helpful tips you can ensure that their stay is as comfortable and stress free as possible. Who knows, maybe after a few visits a boarding stay with us can be the next best thing to home.  Continue Reading

New Product: Synovi G4

synovig4-soft-chews-for-dogs-60-count-31

You may have noticed a new product on our lobby shelves. We have transitioned from the S3 chews to the Synovi G4 recently. As alway we are committed to your pet’s care and have provided some common questions and answers below to let you know why we feel this change is important to your dog’s health. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding Synovi G4 let us know and we will be happy to address your concerns.

What is G4?
This is not your mother’s glucosamine! G4 is a full spectrum joint supplement that targets inflammatory responders, offers synovial support and provides antioxidants. With the addition of natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Boswellia and Tumeric, the updated formula intends to strengthen joint cartilage, function and flexibility.

How long until visible improvement?
In most cases owners have been seeing an improvement in their pet’s mobility in 7-10 days. Even if you do not see immediate change in your pet’s mobility G4 is recommended as maintenance supplement aiding in slowing down the progression of arthritis.

In what form is G4 available?
G4 will only be available in chew form. Bayer guarantees that your dog will find G4 chews palatable or you can return it for a full refund.

My dog has food allergies, is G4 hypoallergenic?
Not at this time. The chews are chicken flavored but Bayer is working on a hypoallergenic version.

Did I just hear you say rewards program?
Um, no. But, yes G4 is part of the Bayer purchase-reward program. Buy 5 containers of G4 joint supplement and the 6th is free! Let one of our awesome client care coordinators know if you would like a punch card.

Homemade Carrot Apple Treats

Cookbook - Recipes

Cookbook – Recipes

Because today is national Pet Obesity Awareness day a healthy snack is in order and these are so easy make. Diesel loves these cookies! He earns half of a homemade carrot apple treat if he does not pull on his leash during his daily walk. But you could also uses these healthy snacks as a reward or way to encourage your pet’s compliance for at home dental care as suggest by Dr. Amy Tongue. Also check out our other recipe from the OVH cookbook.  Continue Reading